Avoid a Prolonged Engagement with Social Media

By Alexandra V. Maragha

Have you ever seen or heard about something and sought that source out on the internet to learn more about it or make a connection, only to find that their website is nothing short of disappointing? A second chance leads you to try to connect with that same source on a social media outlet only leaving for further despair to find their “page” or account to be on life support. This type of social dilemma affects more people and businesses than one may think, and raises the question, why have so many made social media use to be like a prolonged engagement with no true commitment in sight?

Several factors may be the cause including social media management, lack of capability or understanding, lack of content, lack of commitment and frequency.

The setting and purpose of using social media must be identified before signing up for accounts to manage and participate. Is the purpose for individual or business branding use? This key question can determine your purpose, with specific goals to be reached through use, and thus how, when, and who you connect and interact with on that social media source. After this is established, it is important to know how to use such social media tools. Knowing text limitations, video and photo capability and understanding how to connect with others are the most important basic principles to become familiar with, which can then lead to more advanced options to be executed. Specialized profile design and added communication tools and applications may also be desired and added to enhance your content and the experience that those you connect with will have to know your (individual and/or business) story.

As you begin to understand the methods of managing an account, the content that is provided forms the life of your online presence. Filling in profile fields that say something about yourself or your brand seems obvious, but it is often overlooked and can cause frustration to those who wish to interact with you. Social media content not only includes the “about” fields on a profile or a website but also includes the type of content that is posted. Photos, links, videos along with text and added applications create a full picture where users and followers alike can establish a  mutual relationship where interactions can become reciprocal, with equal parts of give and take. Although social media is a medium of instant information and communication, the foundations of long-standing information form a strong base for others to get insight and become familiar, thus creating a more lasting, interesting and relatable relationship.

Think of your commitment to your social media profile as your engagement ring in the sense that when you look at it knowing who gave it to you, you think about the time you will spend together and the relationship that you will have as you start your life with the other person- after you are fully committed. Your social media page has the same potential to bring you happiness and a long relationship through the people not only you connect with, but with those you maintain a connection and relationship with. (Read “Making connections vs. staying connected” on this site for further insight into this).

So you have a social media account established, you know how to use it and have added extras to make it a complete story but others who look to connect with you still have cold feet and are not yet convinced. This could be related to the frequency and how you maintain the social media relationship. An immediate turn off to an engaging social media relationship, aside from lack of content, is relevant information. When visitors see that your last posting was a month ago or more, flags are raised making others wonder the level of commitment that is being made to frequently update the site also making them question if they want to stay in the relationship or even become engaged in the first place if there is a lack of maintenance from the source.

Stay engaged and develop a long-lasting social media relationship and avoid factors that could make someone think twice about getting cold feet from engaging and committing to you and your brand.